I’m Celebrating Every Woman

Black Facts.com
By Dr. Alveda King

This week the legendary artist Chaka Khan turns 70. I count myself among Chaka Khan’s early fans, from her days as the funk band Rufus lead singer to her chart-topping solo career. Chaka Khan made headlines this month, but not by her award-winning voice. Instead, she made news by offering disparaging comments about fellow female artists.

Many of you have heard the comments about her friends and colleagues in the music industry. In an interview in Los Angeles Magazine, when Chaka Khan was presented with a list of the magazine’s top female musical artists of all time, she criticized everyone from Mariah Carey and Adele to Mary J. Blige and Whitney Houston. After the exclusive interview was shared, Chaka Khan received harsh criticism for her candor.

I applaud Chaka Khan for recognizing her error in judgment. She quickly issued an apology. The apology is marked with the grace and wisdom that comes from living and learning from your mistakes.

Recently, I was asked about a list of the ‘greatest singers of all time’, and instead of questioning the need for such a list, I was pitted against other artists, and I took the bait.

As artists, we are unfairly put into ‘boxes’, ‘categories’ or on ‘lists.’ Being an artist or musician is not a competition. It’s a gift, for which I am truly grateful.

It was not my intention to cause pain or upset anyone. To anyone that felt this way, I sincerely apologize.

Chaka Khan’s remarks and response teach us two powerful lessons. The first lesson comes from her own words. First, do not take the bait. Stick to the high road. Media outlets, in general, are the classic schoolyard instigators, and social media is the schoolyard instigator on turbocharge.

In my 72 years on this earth, I have come to value my role as a cheerleader for the women I mentor and those who are my peers. I know there is therapy and healing in cheering for others. Even when it means honoring women whose opinions contradict mine, I gain more peace from cheering than criticizing.

In these final days of Women’s History Month 2023, let us pause and be intentional about celebrating our sister circles.

Chaka Khan’s wisdom that being an artist is not a competition should extend to all aspects of life. For example, being a mother, a business owner, or a community leader is not competition. The world is big enough for all of us to succeed. We are not in competition with anyone. Each of us is uniquely designed for God’s purpose.

In God’s scripture, the relationship between Ruth and Naomi shares the benefits of loyalty to our sister circle. When Naomi’s sons die, their brides are not obligated to remain with their elderly mother-in-law. They can return to their families. Ruth’s devotion to Naomi is a model to replicate.

Ruth tells Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

God blessed Ruth’s loyalty. You know how the story ends. By staying with Naomi and listening to her wise counsel, Ruth meets her Boaz.

The second lesson we learn from Chaka Khan’s actions is that there is strength, not weakness, in admitting when you are wrong. There is healing on the other side of apologies. As members of God’s family, we must be able to offer and accept grace.

About Dr. Alveda King:

Dr. Alveda King

Dr. King is the daughter of the late slain civil rights activist, Rev. A. D. King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a Christian evangelist. She is the author of the best sellers King Rules, and We’re Not Colorblind. She is also the founder of Speak for Life, Chairman of the Center for The American Dream -AFPI, and currently serves as a Fox News Channel contributor and is the host of “Alveda King’s House” on Fox Nation and a NEWSMAX opinion contributor. Dr. King is also a former Georgia state legislator, college professor, a twice-assigned presidential appointee, and a 2021 recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award.

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